After opening it’s first outdoor nursery in Fife last July, Little Bugs is due to open Little Bugs at Abercorn at the end of April, offering outdoor learning for 2-7 year olds.
Owner Louise Licznerski, who hopes to also offer an after-school club for children up to the age of 12, is a former learning support teacher who realised the positive impact the outdoors can have on kids.
She said: “I saw the benefits of outdoor learning at every stage in kids lives. Especially children with learning difficulties. The council was saying outdoor education was important but never gave schools the time and resources to do it.
“The kids are outside the whole time at Little Bugs, come rain or shine. It’s only during major weather like the high winds recently that we would take them in to our indoor space.
"They get wrapped up. There is so much good warm clothing available out there for cheap. It’s just a case of getting layered up.
"I just really hope we can bring outdoor learning to the masses. We can investigate the slugs and bugs and where the birds go.
"It’s boosts children’s confidence, I’ve seen it for myself. And just being exposed to different people in different environments is really good for life skills.
"It’s also just so important for mental health to get outdoors. It doesn’t matter come rain or shine, you always feel better after a good walk."
Louise is joined at Little Bugs at Abercorn by five early years practitioners and manager Ros, where she promotes a “free play philosophy”.
She said: “We have had so many enquiries, a lot of parents are flexi-schooling and they are choosing to send their children to an outdoor learning environment.
"We want to change the perception that the weather means you can’t go outside.
"Our free play philosophy is about encouraging children to learn from their mistakes and talk things over.
"And also take control of their education based on their interests.
"I think it helps the children transition as they grow.
"If you are able to physically do things and experience the outdoors yourself it’s a sense of achievement.”
For more information about Little Bugs, go to https://littlebugs.co.uk/.